This book was a bit of a disappointment to me. Time travel books are generally a favorite treat of mine and although this book is not technically abouThis book was a bit of a disappointment to me. Time travel books are generally a favorite treat of mine and although this book is not technically about time travel, it is close enough to be included in that genre for book lists on Goodreads, where I first heard of it. I found the book’s reliance and description of hypnotism to be unrealistic bordering on cheesy. I also was bothered by the undertones of violence against women, as mentioned by at least one other reviewer. This book seemed to take forever to end and I thought about not finishing it several times but by then I was several hundred pages in and decided to slog through. I think the medieval Margaret of Hay (and the rest of the medieval cast of characters) is much better written and more interesting than the characters living in 1980s London. The contemporary characters read like caricatures of a 1980s soap opera cast and I found little to like or be intrigued by them. The segments of the book that take place in the twelfth century were much more interesting and enjoyable for me.
This book’s cheese factor increased with the page count and climaxed with what was to me, a completely unsatisfying conclusion. I am completely willing to suspend my disbelief for a book with a similar plot but this book was just too long for the story it told and too poorly written for me to like. ...more
Wow, what a book. Connie Willis managed to take the humor from "To Say Nothing of the Dog" and blend it perfectly with the gripping, page turning storWow, what a book. Connie Willis managed to take the humor from "To Say Nothing of the Dog" and blend it perfectly with the gripping, page turning story of "The Doomsday Book". I have vastly enjoyed her previous novel forays into time travel and "Blackout" may outdo them all.
Willis's exhaustive research allows her to paint a completely compelling portrait of life on the British home front, weaving together several parallel stories of late twenty first century time travelers who find themselves stuck in a dangerous era despite their careful calculations to avoid these dangers.
There wasn't a sentence I didn't love in this lengthy book-everything from the cover (which looks amazing when contrasted with the upcoming sequel "All Clear") to the last chapter (which I could see playing out on the movie screen) sucked me in completely. In some ways I wished I'd waited until the fall of 2010 to read it because of the cliffhanger ending but I am eagerly anticipating "All Clear". My only fear is that its leading up to a disappointing ultimate end (as some of her works have for me) and I really hope these two volumes aren't her last foray into the world of the Oxford time travel team historians....more
Oh Connie Willis, you delight and disappoint me so. I love love love "To Say Nothing of the Dog" and "Doomsday Book" but I find myself less than impreOh Connie Willis, you delight and disappoint me so. I love love love "To Say Nothing of the Dog" and "Doomsday Book" but I find myself less than impressed by some of her other work, ESPECIALLY "Passage." I loved her focus on the Civil War in this book. It reminded me of how much I used to like reading about the Civil War and her words describe perfectly how deeply traumatic it was for our nation. However, I found the actual plot of this book to be unwieldy and unsatisfying. I think I should perhaps stick with just her more conventional time travel books from here on out. However, it wasn't a total loss-I didn't feel the colossal sense of disappointment I had when I finished "Passage" and the fact that I got this and then traded it to someone out within two weeks on swaptree suggests there is still significant demand to read this novel. ...more
Points for creativity- I love the new take on time travel. However, the author seems to rely a lot on tired clichés and stereotypes when describing chPoints for creativity- I love the new take on time travel. However, the author seems to rely a lot on tired clichés and stereotypes when describing characters. I was a little relieved to finish it because it made me so damn melancholy while I was reading it....more